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Asylum-seeker registrations in Indonesia fall sharply

The number of asylum-seekers registering in Indonesia has fallen from around 100 a day to 100 a week in recent months, the UN said Thursday, as Australia implemented hardline policies aimed at deterring boatpeople. "There is a sharp decrease in the number of people seeking registration with the UNHCR (the United Nations refugee agency)," said Manuel Jordao, the agency's country representative in Indonesia.

Med nations urge EU partners to step up migration fight

Seven European Mediterranean nations on Wednesday urged the EU to boost its financial support for member states bearing the brunt of the influx of African migrants in search of a better life. Migratory pressure pushing across the Mediterranean "is far from diminishing, it is increasing", said foreign ministers from Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain after an informal meeting in the Spanish port of Alicante.

Kenya rounds up thousands in Islamist crackdown

Kenyan security forces have rounded up thousands of Somalis or Kenyans of Somali origin, leaving many languishing in a football stadium, amid a major crackdown on suspected Islamists blamed for a string of attacks. The operation, which local media say has involved more than 6,000 men from the police and from the elite General Service Unit, started on Friday and appeared to have been focused on Eastleigh, an ethnic Somali-dominated district of the Kenyan capital.

Chinese parents, trapped in one-child web, give babies away on Internet

By Lavinia Mo, Sui-Lee Wee and Li Hui GANZHOU, China (Reuters) - Lu Libing knew he had only one choice as the birth of his third child approached. He couldn't afford hefty fines that would be meted out by Chinese authorities, so he put the unborn child up for adoption. On the Internet he found "A Home Where Dreams Come True", a website touted as China's biggest online adoption forum, part of an industry that has been largely unregulated for years.

Mexico finds 370 abandoned immigrant children

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - In one week, 370 immigrant children, most of them from Central America, were found abandoned in Mexico, after traffickers promised to take them to the United States but left them to their own devices after being paid thousands of dollars, authorities said. Almost half of them, 163 children under the age of 18, were found traveling alone, Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM) said in a statement.

China two-child policy not imminent

China's health ministry on Thursday dampened speculation that the country could dump its one-child policy and allow families to have two. The world's most populous country has restricted most families to one child since the late 1970s, but its ruling Communist party said in November that couples would be allowed to have two children so long as one of the parents is an only child.

Rising immigration embarrasses Britain's Cameron before vote

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge to cut annual net migration to below 100,000 was undermined on Thursday after figures showed the net flow of migrants coming into Britain rose by 37 percent to 212,000 people in the year to September 2013. With polls regularly showing immigration to be one of the top three concerns for Britons, Cameron is under pressure ahead of European elections in May and a national election next year to make good on his promise to cut net migration to the "tens of thousands" by 2015.

Over 15,000 C.Africa civilians at risk of attack

Thousands of civilians in conflict-torn Central African Republic are at imminent risk of attack, the UN refugee agency warned Tuesday, calling for heightened security and more international troops. More than 15,000 people, most of them Muslim, "are at present surrounded and under threat by armed groups," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters. He stressed that civilians in 18 locations in the northwest and southwest of the impoverished African country were "at very high risk of attack and urgently need better security" and more international troops on the ground.

Over 15,000 C.Africa civilians at risk of attack

Thousands of civilians in conflict-torn Central African Republic are at imminent risk of attack, the UN refugee agency warned Tuesday, calling for heightened security and more international troops. More than 15,000 people in 18 locations in the northwest and southwest of the impoverished African country "are at present surrounded and under threat by armed groups," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters. He stressed that minority Muslim civilians were "at very high risk of attack and urgently need better security" and more international troops on the ground.

Australia asks impoverished Cambodia to take some asylum seekers

By Prak Chan Thul PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Australia asked Cambodia, one of Asia's poorest countries, on Saturday to take in asylum seekers detained while trying to reach the Australian coast and Cambodia said it would think about it. Australia's government came to power last year partly because of a tough stance on asylum seekers arriving from Indonesia with Prime Minister Tony Abbott promising to "stop the boats".
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